How to appeal a decision about your pension
Learn how to submit an appeal if you disagree with how the plan rules have been applied.
This information is a summary of the College Pension Board of Trustees Appeal Process. For more details about the appeal process, contact the appeals registrar.
Before starting an appeal to the College Pension Board of Trustees, you must complete the administrative review process through BC Pension Corporation, the administrative agent for BC's College Pension Plan. This action can often resolve concerns and avoid an appeal.
What is the appeal process?
The appeal process allows a person or organization to appeal a decision made by the corporation in applying the College Pension Plan Rules. The process provides an impartial review by the board.
What is the College Pension Board of Trustees?
The College Pension Board of Trustees administers the pension plan and manages the pension fund. The board consists of 10 trustees, half of whom are appointed by plan member partner organizations and half by plan employer partner organizations.
Who can appeal a decision?
Any person or organization directly affected by a decision made by the corporation in applying the plan rules can appeal.
When can I appeal?
You can only appeal once the following has occurred:
- You reported your concern to Pension Corporation and completed the administrative review process
- At the end of that process, you received a letter from the corporation's director of pension operations confirming the original decision
You must start an appeal within 12 months of the date you receive the director's written letter confirming the corporation's original decision.
What can I appeal?
You can appeal any decision made by the corporation that directly affects you regarding the application of the pension plan rules. Some examples include decisions about enrolment, purchase of service, pension benefits, application of arrears and survivor benefits.
Are there issues I cannot appeal?
You cannot appeal on the grounds that the actual pension plan rule applied in the decision should be changed. Also, you cannot appeal something that happened to someone else (however, you may represent someone else in their appeal).
Can I appeal to the board about a decision made by a group benefits carrier regarding my group benefits coverage (extended health care, dental or group life insurance)?
No. The group benefits carrier has its own process for addressing members' concerns about claims. Please contact the carrier directly:
- Pacific Blue Cross for extended health care and dental claims incurred before April 1, 2017
- Green Shield Canada for extended health care and dental claims incurred on and after April 1, 2017
However, decisions about enrolment in the extended health care or dental plans are made by Pension Corporation and may be appealed to the board.
What if I disagree with the principle of the plan rule?
You can write to the board about your concern. Although the board cannot act immediately on the issues you raise, your experience may help identify the need for future changes to the plan.
Can someone else act on my behalf?
Yes; although the process is designed to use on your own, you may choose to have someone act on your behalf. The board will not reimburse any costs you incur by having another person act on your behalf.
Note: The board does not provide legal advice, guidance or recommendations about appeals. You may seek the advice of legal counsel at your own expense.
I'm thinking of filing an appeal. What should I do first?
Contact Pension Corporation. Before you start an appeal, the corporation's director of pension operations must review your concerns. During this administrative review, the director considers whether the plan rules were applied correctly in your case. This process helps ensure the corporation applies the plan rules consistently. Following the review, the director will send you a written letter confirming the original decision or suggesting an alternative solution.
To request the director of pension operations review your concerns, write or email the corporation through the plan:
College Pension Plan
PO Box 9460
Victoria BC V8W 9V8
Phone toll-free in Canada and U.S.: 1-888-440-0111
Online: Sign in to My Account and click the envelope for Message Centre
If you are still not satisfied after reviewing the director's response, you may appeal the matter to the board.